Macclesfield Town faced a strong Wigan Athletic side in a behind closed door friendly this afternoon and it proved to be one which elicited much optimism for the season ahead.
A 20th minute Anthony Pilkington strike proved to be the difference between the two sides, as Sol Campbell's men put in a tenacious showing against the Championship side.
After an energetic start from both sides, Michael Jacobs carved out the first real opportunity of the game after seven minutes when he pulled a twenty yard drive narrowly wide of the near post.
The contest developed into a pulsating midfield battle, with Jak McCourt once again orchestrating proceeding for the visitors.
The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes, as Pilkington surged forward before unleashing a ferocious drive into the near corner of the net.
The hosts derived much confidence from this and had numerous chances to extend the lead. It was only the gallant defending of Kelleher and Welch-Hayes who prevented this from happening - as they both put their bodies on the line on numerous occasions.
After Macc had weathered the storm somewhat, they started to play the intricate, exciting football which ultimately posed Wigan a tangible threat.
David Fitzpatrick and James Pearson both launched an array of offensive runs down their respective flanks and for much of the first period, these looked to be our main attacking outlet.
Despite numerous changes, the second period largely developed in a similar manner to the first - as Macc fought to restore parity.
Ben Stephens and Scott Wilson both had chances to bring the scores level, with both attempts flying agonisingly wide of goal.
On 64 minutes, Stephens collected the ball at the far post and looked odds on to equalise, yet his low drive cannoned off the near post.
Wigan had chances to extend their lead in the latter stages - the most pertinent of which came when Callum Lang broke into the penalty area - yet his shot across the face of goal fizzed narrowly wide.
Right on the stroke of full-time, Michael Rose floated a tantalising corner into the area, which was seized upon by a trialist striker and although he made good contact with the ball, he could only direct it over the bar.
Macclesfield Town 1st Half: Trialist, Kelleher, Pearson, McCourt, Trialist, Fitzpatrick, Ironside, Welch-Hayes, Wilson, Osadebe, Stephens.
Macclesfield Town 2nd Half: Trialist, Cameron, Trialist, Welch-Hayes, Dawson, Stephens (Wilson '69), Ironside (Osadebe '69), Rose, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist
Wigan Athletic: Marshall (Trialist 45); Byrne, Dunkley (Obi 60), Kipre (Fox 60), Naismith; Morsy (Weir 60), Evans (Perry 60); Jacobs (Lopes 60), Pilkington (Gelhardt 60), Roberts (Jolley 60); Garner (Lang 60).